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March 7, 2011

Funding in place to begin construction of new South Park Bridge

Council approves legislation detailing County’s contribution to replacement span, adopts agreements with city of Seattle and Port of Seattle

South Park BridgeThe residents and businesses dependent on the disabled South Park Bridge are a step closer to a replacement with today’s unanimous adoption by the Metropolitan King County Council of agreements to fund construction of a new structure.

“Our region failed when the South Park Bridge closed last June. Today’s votes take a significant step towards righting that wrong for South Park residents and our region’s businesses,” said Councilmember Joe McDermott, whose district includes the South Park Bridge. “Replacing the bridge will create jobs in the present and support a regional economic hub into the future.”

Last June, because of the deteriorating condition of the span, the 79-year-old bridge, which crossed the Duwamish Waterway and connected the South Park and Georgetown neighborhoods in south Seattle, was closed. Rebuilding the span is a priority for the region: more than 20,000 vehicles used the bridge every day and it was an important freight corridor that linked the manufacturing and industrial centers of Seattle with the rest of the region.

Before the bridge closed, the Council adopted legislation that provided the County Executive with funding authority needed to assist in the construction of a new bridge. The Council today adopted three separate ordinances that:

• Approve interlocal agreements with the city of Seattle and the Port of Seattle that details their contributions toward the project.
• Removes an expenditure restriction on a portion of the project construction funds that had been imposed pending the negotiation of these interlocal agreements.

The cost of the construction phase of the bridge replacement project is estimated at $138 million. Federal grants, including $34 million in TIGER II grant funds, are guaranteed for the construction of the bridge. King County, the city of Seattle, Port of Seattle, the Puget Sound Regional Council and state funds will cover the remaining cost of construction.

With all of the funding now in place, construction of the new South Park Bridge is slated to begin in May.

“I commend the City, Port, State, Federal and County governments for working together to arrive at today. In particular, I commend the South Park community for their tenacity,” said McDermott.

Contact Council Chair McDermott

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